The plaintiff, an association requested the Conseil d’Etat to quash a Walloon government decree dealing with the granting of exemptions from measures aimed at protecting animal and plant species, with the exception of birds. The incriminated decree stated that the Walloon government can grant exemptions from measures protecting animal and plant species.
The plaintiff invoked a violation of Article 23 of the Constitution on the basis that the derogation procedure should have provided for a final assent from the Walloon High Council on Nature Conservation.
The plaintiff also considered that the decree should have requested the applicant to produce, as an annex to the derogation request, a certificate of moral standing attesting that he or she has not been condemned in the past 5 years for an infringement to the nature conservation law or regulation.
The Conseil d’Etat ruled that the issue of the Walloon High Council on Nature Conservation’s consultation was irrelevant. It considered that the 1973 Law on nature conservation did not require the applicant to produce a certificate of moral standing. Therefore, the court dismissed the appeal.